Mr. Thomas Merman, a lifelong resident of Nesquehoning, passed away while in residence at Maple Shade Meadows Senior Living facility on December 5, 2020. A lifelong resident of Nesquehoning, he was 98 years at the time. He was the husband of the late Helen nee (Babinetz) Merman who passed away in 2002. Born in Nesquehoning in 1922, he was the son of the late Andrew and Helen nee (Hritz) Merman. Mr. Merman was an avid outdoors man who enjoyed fishing and hunting throughout his life and continued on with this later into his 70’s. He was a graduate of Mauch Chunk Township High School, class of 1939 and a WWII combat veteran. Shortly after graduating, he began working in the anthracite coal mines as a mule driver, learning how to timber shafts and blast that would later be an asset during his military service. On November 5, 1942 he was inducted into the US Army serving honorably until his discharge on December 7, 1945. His basic and advanced training occurred at Camp Davis, North Carolina, in Ant-Aircraft Artillery which included surveying, radar, and fire direction. His unit, Btry A, 2217th AAA 90mm Gun Battalion, was then deployed overseas on a 10 day journey across the North Atlantic landing first in Wales then on into England. He then participated in the Normandy Invasion landing on Utah Beach as a member of First Army under General Bradley, participating in the Battle of Normandy and recognized by French citation orders, prior to their fighting in Bastogne where the infamous Battle of the Bulge occurred with the US Third Army under General Patton. Afterwards, he fought in every major engagement and numerous minor ones going forward of his units position to destroy any man-made or natural obstacles found that prevented his units advance. His previous experience working in the coal industry in Nesquehoning became an asset. After the end of WWII, he was reassigned to the 106th AAA Heavy Machine Gun Battalion for occupation duty guarding both contraband in Berchtesgaden, Germany at Hitler’s Eagle Nest and alpine duty looking for the hard-core holdouts of the Third Reich. Upon his return back to the US from the European Theater, departing Marsilles, France, he was discharged from Ft. Indiantown Gap in Annville, PA. Upon entry back into civilian life, he returned to the coal mines in Nesquehoning until their eventual closure. He later worked in the construction and machining industries in Pa, operating various heavy equipment and manufacturing metal products until he became disabled. Throughout his life after his military service, he enjoyed dabbling in local politics, getting elected as a school director and later involvements with the water and planning authorities in Nesquehoning. As a former member of VFW Post 8008 in Nesquehoning and sportsman clubs, he participated in various internal and external activities including fund raising. As a former union representative during his United Mine Workers of America days, he assisted miners with their grievances. He was a lifelong member of St. Mary’s Greek Catholic Church in Nesquehoning where he received his communion sacraments and was married.
Surviving are a son Thomas A. and his wife Adeline nee (Bilotta); grandchildren Thomas A. II and Adriana and her husband Seth Goodson; two grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
He was also preceded in death by a sister Julia (Jane) Puschock.
A Funeral Service will be held privately at the convenience of the family in St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church with Rev. Dr. Vasyl Chepelskyy officiating. Military interment will be held in the parish cemetery, Nesquehoning. In lieu of flowers, donations will be accepted in his name to St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church, 141 W. High St., Nesquehoning, PA 18240. The Joseph S. Blazosky Funeral Home has been entrusted with the funeral arrangements. Online condolences at www.blazoskyfh.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Thomas Merman, please visit our floral store.